Barcelona 3-0 Real Madrid (Mar 24, 2024) Game Analysis

A Caroline Graham Hansen-inspired Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-0 at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Sunday to move 12 points clear at the top of Liga F.

The Norway international helped create the opening goal for Fridolina Rolfö, laid on the second for Aitana Bonmatí and scored the third herself as Barça made it 14 consecutive Clásico victories since Madrid absorbed CD Tacon in 2020.

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Graham Hansen, 29, now has a remarkable 51 goal contributions across 29 appearances in all competitions this season, including 26 goals, 17 of which have now come in the league.

She is leading Barça’s charge for a quadruple, with Jonatan Giráldez’s side already into the Copa de la Reina final and 2-1 up at the halfway stage of their Champions League quarterfinal against Brann.

: Caroline Graham Hansen scored Barcelona’s third goal against Real Madrid on Sunday.

“Until we win trophies — the Champions League, the league and the cup — [my] statistics don’t matter,” Graham Hansen told DAZN after the game.

“If we don’t win anything, they don’t count for anything. We have to keep going as a team and keep winning matches.

“Madrid had a free midweek before this game and had a five minute spell where they had more of the ball.

“We controlled the rest of the game, though, and could have scored more goals in the first half. We had chances that we should have scored.”

The first trophy of a possible four arrived in January when they won the Spanish Supercopa, beating Madrid 4-0 in the semifinal.

Alberto Toril’s Madrid side have threatened to close the gap on Barça in recent years, finishing just 10 points behind them last season and losing to them in the last eight of the Champions League two years ago, but they have struggled to kick on this season.

Madrid have already been eliminated from the Copa and the Champions League and, after falling even further behind Barça this weekend, will now focus on finishing in the top three and securing European football again next season.

They remain six points clear of third-placed Levante and seven ahead of Madrid CFF, who are fourth.

Sunday’s visit from Barça was another chance to seal a first-ever win against the Catalan side, but as has regularly been the case in this fixture, they were second best from the start.

The visitors led inside 10 minutes when Graham Hansen fed Ona Batlle to square for fellow full-back Rolfö, who only recently returned from a long-term knee injury.

Barça continued to dominate but Bonmatí was twice denied by Misa Rodríguez, while Salma Paralluelo hit the crossbar as they failed to add to their tally before the break.

Madrid’s best chance came via Barça centre-back Irene Paredes, whose attempted clearance hit her own bar.

Graham Hansen took the game by the scruff of the neck in the early stages of the second half to kill the game off.

She latched on to a brilliant long pass from England international Keira Walsh, performed wizardry on the touchline to keep the ball in play, beat her opponent and set up Ballon d’Or winner Bonmatí in 55th minute.

Twelve minutes later, Graham Hansen got the goal she deserved, again displaying brilliant footwork before firing past Rodríguez to end the home side’s hopes of a comeback.

Barça eased themselves over the line from there, giving minutes to former Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas as she continues her return from an injury and handing breathers to Graham Hansen and Bonmatí.

With 61 points from a possible 63, Barça are coasting towards in a fifth straight Liga F title in what will be Giráldez’s final campaign as coach before he joins NWSL side Washington Spirit in the final.

Before then, Giráldez has his eye on winning back the Copa de la Reina after being kicked out last season for fielding an ineligible side, but the big objective will be winning back-to-back Champions Leagues.

Barça host Brann in the second leg of their quarterfinal tie on Thursday, with a possible semifinal to come against either Chelsea or Ajax in April.